A chill down my spine

At around 3 in the afternoon usually when I have my tea I switched in the TV to catch up on the news and unfortunately, the headline that I saw is one which I’ll never forget. I was devastated (still am), shook and almost in tears. Images of a 3-year-old boy sitting on the motionless body of his grandfather in J&K’s Sopore emerged from an encounter site. The 60-year-old grandfather was a civilian who was killed in the cross-firing on Wednesday morning in Kashmir when an encounter broke out between militants and security forces. The cops as they reached, rescued the boy and took him to a shelter. The boy wailed uncontrollably over his grandfather’s body. A police person carried the baby on his lap and took him away from the encounter site.

The police say Khan was killed in a crossfire when Kashmiri insurgents attacked their forces in the Sopore district of India-administered Kashmir. One Indian paramilitary trooper was also killed in the gunbattle, say the police. 

Khan’s daughter says her father had gone to the bank to cash a cheque and on the way he was dragged out of his car and then shot in cold blood.

The CRPF personnel who took the child were relentlessly trying to calm him down but failed. They offered him biscuits, food, consoled him but to no avail. How could the child stop crying? He had seen his grandfather being shot right in front him. Imagine, just imagine the horror, the shock and the trauma that child has been going through.

While you and I look back at our childhood as a sweet dream and wish that we could go back to it, do you think this young boy will have the same memories? Will he remember his childhood days playing in his grandfather’s lap or will he remember sitting on his dead body, crying out for help?

Immediately after the incident this news was all over the media. All news channels were covering it but for them it was just another piece of content. There were panel discussions, debates, comments coming in, people tweeting- everything you can imagine. Virtually, the whole of India came out to offer their condolences to the family but should we not question the people who are responsible for this? Should we not question those politicians who just sit in their air conditioned cabins passing orders which only leaf to bloodshed? Today, I as an Indian demand an answer from the Indian government that why is it so that people in the valley have to suffer so much? Why is it so that children in the valley only see death? Why is there no peace? Why isn’t the government not taking any action?